What makes good web copy? How do you write web copy that your visitors will read, not skim or skip entirely?
There’s nothing worse than coming upon a website that may be helpful and informative if not for having to sift through huge blocks of text riddled with grammar errors or unnecessary information to find what you need. Admittedly, my own site used to lean this direction before a major renovation!
It pays to write your website in a way that will streamline your audience’s experience and allow them to spend more time getting to know you and your product or service than they spend hunting down basic information on a wordy and confusing website.
Consider a few helpful tips for writing readable web copy the next time you’re trying to revamp your website:
Avoid big blocks of text.
Avoid huge blocks of text — it’s painful for any reader to try to sift through, but more importantly, it will, more often than not, result in a reader simply skipping over text that may be important. In addition to writing with concision, using headers, bullet points, and graphics to break up text will help create a page that is visually appealing and easy to read.
Use headers and keywords.
Not only do headers break up text efficiently, but employing them along with keywords help with search engine optimization. The important thing here is to make sure your pages aren’t “stuffed” with keywords — in other words, write naturally and include keywords where possible. Writing with an inordinate focus on keywords is obvious and makes the writing sound forced and unnatural.
Write with your audience in mind.
If you’re an impartial visitor to your website or a prospective customer, what is the most important information for you to find quickly, and how is that information best communicated? Write your website with your audience’s experience in mind. Envision what you would want to read if you were coming upon your site for the first time. Don’t make your audience have to hunt down information that should be readily available and easily accessible for them.
Avoid grammar errors.
This is pretty self-explanatory. A great deal of time and effort should go into creating web copy, so there really is no excuse for grammar or punctuation errors. Give your text a thorough copyedit or have someone do that for you before you put it into your site and make it go live. Grammar errors throughout your website are distracting, and also indicate that you don’t pay attention to the little details.
When it comes to writing web copy, less really is more. Give the reader enough information to tell them who you are, what you offer, and why they should reach out to you to learn more or patronize your business. Concision is THE most important thing to keep in mind when writing a website. If there’s too much text, you risk your audience giving up and finding a website that IS easy to read and provides the answers they need.
Keep it Simple
Writing web copy is a school of patience and concision — put yourself in your web visitor’s shoes and consider how you would want information presented to you. Keep these five tips in mind as you’re writing web copy and you’ll notice a difference in the experience your audience has on your website!